Whether you’re a frequent flier or you keep things simple with one holiday per year, getting clued up on the best luggage brands is essential if you’re to enjoy a stress-free journey to your destination. Your suitcase needs to be durable enough to withstand the trials and tribulations of a luggage carousel, spacious enough to fit all of your belongings and light enough to make easy work of navigating an airport terminal. And only the very best luggage brands promise all of the above.
There’s also style. You deserve a suitcase that looks good. Why? For SS22, various trends are set to be traipsed across parks and garden (low-slung waists, sheer fabrics and strap detailing) – and they’re set to transfer to airport halls. So you wouldn’t want your chic city break get-up to be paired with a basic, boring suitcase… would you? From one unashamed bag obsessive to another, it is essential that your holiday wardrobe is housed in a suitcase as chic as its contents.
Investing in one of the best suitcases is undeniably wise. Spend a little more on some top-quality luggage and your holiday companion will last you a lifetime. No matter how many trips along the trusty baggage carousel it takes (and scuffs it picks up along the way). So, we’ve rounded up the best suitcases from the best luggage brands on the market to buy for 2022 holidays – as loved by GLAMOUR editors and influencers alike.
What luggage is best, hard or soft?
It’s a matter of personal preference, though there is definitely a preference for hard-shell luggage among the frequent travellers who reviewed the brands below.
Hard luggage is typically constrained to one size and shape – so there’s less give when you’re trying to squash that final pair of sandals down the side of your pile of summer dresses. That said, hard suitcases do tend to be significantly more durable, waterproof, easy to wipe clean and lightweight. Hard luggage will also protect your belongings much better. Most of the hard shell suitcases in this edit are made from polycarbonate, which is a durable yet lightweight material first bought to the luggage world by Rimowa in 2000.
Soft luggage is beneficial if you’re after something that can mould to small spaces, like the overhead carrier of a plane, and they are better for over-packers.
What else to consider when shopping for the best luggage?
1. TSA Locks
TSA LOCK® is a global security system which allows passengers to lock their luggage, while permitting security authorities to inspect them without damage. The best suitcases will feature locks which have been TSA-approved.
2. Smooth wheels
Often, the defining feature of an expensive suitcase over something on a budget is the quality and smoothness of the wheels. The best luggage brands will serve up four 360 degree spinner wheels on their suitcases, making it easy to weave in and out of people (in all directions) in an airport terminal.
3. Compression dividers
At the very least, make sure your suitcase has luggage straps which stretch over your clothes and keep the contents of your suitcase in place. If you can, opt for something with full compression dividers which compress your clothes, keep everything safe and make it easier to close your suitcase. Some compression dividers will have additional pockets with zippers on them.
If you travel a lot, make sure you’re clued up on the luggage brand-in-question’s warranty. Do they cover everything you need them to? “Limited warranty” is ideal, while “limited lifetime warranty” means it’s good for a certain number of years, and “limited to manufacturer’s defects” is what you want to avoid. That basically means the luggage brand will cover nothing and will attribute the damage of your suitcase to you or the airline. Not what you want.
Which brand of luggage is the most durable?
Tumi is the brains behind some of the toughest luggage on the market. Need proof? Their Latitude International Carry-On Suitcase is made from layers of specially woven self-reinforced ballistic material. It makes for the toughest and most durable suitcase shell in the brand’s 10-year history – and banishes any worry of your suitcase being bashed and ruined along a luggage carousel.
Which brand is best for luggage at a glance?
- Best luggage brand overall: Away
- Best luggage brand for customer service: Antler
- Best luggage brand for durability: Tumi
- Best luggage brand for affordability: Tripp
- Best luggage brand for in-suitcase charging: Horizn
- Best luggage brand for adventure travel: Eastpak
- Best luggage brand for sustainability credentials: Samsonite
For more from our Commerce Editor Sophie Cockett, follow her on Instagram @sophiecockettx.